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The Fitzrovia Radio Hour
Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2012

ImageThe Gilded Balloon
Comedy
1-14, 16-27 Aug, 5:45pm-6:45pm 

If video killed the radio star, can theatre restore him to life?  Probably not, but the presenters of The Fitzrovia Radio Hour are giving it a bally good try.  In this imaginative pastiche of the wartime airwaves, we’re invited into the studios of a 1940’s radio station – to watch bow-tie-clad actors read a series of tales of derring-do, while their colleagues produce increasingly bizarre sound effects live on stage around them.

When we saw Fitzrovia at a previous Edinburgh Fringe, our reviewer Trystan Davies praised both its charm and its understated authenticity.  The humour’s gentle, preferring subtle lampooning to in-your-face punchlines, and the mockery’s always balanced with warmth and respect.  The whole thing’s quaint and quirky, but the real amusement lies in the actors’ buttoned-up restraint – not least the focused precision with which they generate the special effects, seemingly oblivious to how ludicrous it is that they’re conjuring the roaring Atlantic with a watering can.

Since our last review, Fitzrovia’s become something of an institution, both here in Edinburgh and beyond.  But if you caught last year’s show, you’ll be delighted to hear there are brand-new stories to enjoy – and we’re promised renewed feuding among the egocentric cast, with one of their number demanding an unplanned change to the finely-honed transmission schedule.  On past form, this won’t be the kind of comedy which makes your sides ache… but it should be an uplifting and sometimes-pointed satire.  London’s calling, and we’ll be tuning in.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger